Jessie van Grieken, BSc

Jessie finished her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Maastricht University in 2021. She wrote her bachelor thesis on differences in cortical activation in children and adults with and without dyslexia. To pursue her interests in Developmental Psychology research, she moved to Leiden to start the research master in Developmental Psychology. Jessie joined the Focus on Emotions research lab as a research assistant in April 2022. She is responsible for communicating with schools to set up data collection for the Schoolyard project. 

Maedeh talks about children's behaviour and complex network analysis at CNA 2022

maedeh palermo combinedOn the 8-10th the 11th International Conference on Complex Networks and their Applications (CNA) took place in Palermo, Italy, and Maedeh presented her research on the spatio-temporal social network of children in the schoolyard. This network provides important information about how the physical and social environment impacts a child's behavior. For example - how do children utilize the schoolyard for face-to-face interactions? Do children interact anywhere or do they prefer to stay in a fixed spot to socialize? Preliminary results will be published soon, in the abstract book of the conference. 

Throwback time! Yung-Ting on her experiences at the International Summer School in Affective Sciences 2022.


“I realized that ‘wellbeing’ is something more complicated – and thus also interesting – than I thought.” On July 7-15th 2022, our resident postdoc Yung-Ting Tsou participated in the International Summer School in Affective Sciences (ISSAS). 

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Maedeh shows how AI and wearables help us understand how children play

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On the 14th of October the 8th “Wearables in Practice” (WIP) Symposium took place at Leiden University. An important topic was the use of wearable devices – “wearables” – to assess health across a wider population, e.g. via smartwatches. Maedeh presented how she uses artificial intelligence (AI) and wearables in her talk “Who is playing with me? Learning Trajectory Similarity with Siamese Architecture”. Here she explained how this allows us to analyze movement patterns and reveal children’s social and play behaviors! If you want to know how this works, learn more about Maedeh's research & stay tuned for more!

Focus on Emotions at CERE 2022

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On the 10th & 11th of June, the 8th Consortium of European Research on Emotion (CERE) took place in the sunny Granada, in the south of Spain. Of course, the Focus on Emotions lab was well represented with four presentations and one poster. 


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Recent & Upcoming Events

01.10: Virtual keynote speech on social inclusion at playgrounds at CDFS 2022

lnk00001 On October 1st, Carolien will be speaking about our lab's most recent developments and updates at the 2022 International Conference on Child Development and Family Studies (CDFS). The keynote will be ONLINE and is entitled "Social inclusion at playgrounds – how to include children with communication difficulties". There is no registration fee! 

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15.09.: Carolien's Keynote "What are emotions, and what to do with them"

On the 9th of September, Carolien will present at the Kennisdag 2021 of Eetexpert, a knowledge centre for eating and weight problems in Leuven. The event will be themed around identity development and growth, and what can be done to support that growth - emotions play an important role of course!

June 30th: Carolien spoke about emotion skills, stress and burnout in young people

On June 30th 2022 Carolien gave a lecture at the Euregionaal Congresburo (ECB) online conference on over-questioning, stress and burn-out in children and adolescents. 

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April is for Autism Acceptance

Autism Acceptance

Every year, April 2nd is World Autism Day. And in that week - and really, the whole month -  it's time to celebrate Autism Acceptance! 

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The Focus on Emotions lab, featuring Fotis!

Fotis joined the Focus on Emotions lab for one year as a Master student, Intern and Research Assistant, while completing his degree in Developmental Psychology at Leiden University.

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Padova joined the chat: Double the lab, double the insights!

padove lab meet

Last Friday, 18 February, the weekly Focus on Emotions lab meeting was a bit bigger than usual, joined by researchers in Developmental Psychology from the University of Padova, in Italy! 

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Who are we?

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Our team is located at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University and at the Human Media Interaction at the technical University of Twente, both in the Netherlands. We work in close collaboration with the ENT department of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the mental health organisations INTER-PSY (Groningen) and Curium-LUMC, the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), and TU Delft. Our group is dedicated to examining the development of emotional intelligence of children and adolescents from a very young age; with a strong focus on its impact on children's social development. Besides typically developing children and adolescents, we are interested in the development of those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH), with autism, or with a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Currently, we have an ongoing project on social inclusion at schools that utilises sensor technology with DHH and autistic children. Since 2017, our team has also been working in close collaboration with a centre for DHH children in China.

On this site we will post regular news items about new publications, events, and other important news. You can also read more about our ongoing projects, read about/download questionnaires we have developed, peruse the list of our publications per topic, or learn about opportunities for students to join our team.